Walls pier contract wound up after major construction delays

A new contractor is to be sought to complete the £2.5 million Walls pier after Inverness-based Airport Civil Engineering (ACE) ran into problems and ceased work.

Last month ACE blamed bad weather and difficulties getting enough workers for falling behind schedule and deciding to call a halt until April.

But the contract has now ended following a decision taken in private by councillors on Shetland Islands Council’s executive committee this morning. The matter was tabled as an urgent item.

This afternoon the council and ACE said the decision had been taken to wind-up the contract following discussions. The council was concerned about delays in the pier being ready. Work began in April and it should have been finished in February but only about 30 per cent of the project had been completed.

Capital programme service manager Robert Sinclair said it had been agreed in talks with the contractor that ending the contract was the best way forward. “The council is now looking forward to getting the job finished.  We’re confident of getting another contractor on board in the near future,” he said.

ACE managing director Martin Anderson, a former council roads engineer, said he was glad the matter had been resolved quickly and by mutual agreement.

The council said it would announce a new contractor in due course. It said its key priority was to deliver the pier for the Walls and Shetland communities on budget and without delay.



Add Your Comment
  • Ron Stronach

    • December 20th, 2011 12:19

    This smacks of other building projects that the SIC have sub-contracted out, is there no suitable building contractors who are based in Shetland that can carryout such work?

    Why does the council not have penalty clauses written in and enforce them should the contractor fall behind? Or do they? You never hear of them if they do?

    Spend some of the Charitable Trust Fund to improve training services in Shetland for practical type work i.e. brickies and other building trades, stop using mainland contractors who seem to fail regularly. Lets see if they do bring in the contract on budget!

  • Graham Tait

    • December 20th, 2011 22:30

    It’s not always the lowest tender that will deliver the best value for money. Track record and competence?

    The project is 30% complete at 85% time to deadline so no surprise. Should have been rectified before now but can’t see how the budget will hold up.

    The key now must be to complete the pier as soon as possible but make sure the end result is up to scratch.


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